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Across the Aisle

Several strains of thought have converged recently for me and shaped these paragraphs. The Outlook editorial of Jan. 15 by Robert Bullock and William Stacy Johnson brought thoughtful assessment of Amendment O as well as a challenging reminder of work to be done by all the church in the days after the presbyteries have voted.

Reflections from a Sojourn in Egypt

Living for 15 months in Egypt introduced us to a different world -- Arabic and Islamic; ancient yet modern; a third world, and an industrial nation unable to give up its old ways; a gracious hospitable people who want you to like their country.

The Unity We Seek

We Presbyterians are searching frantically to preserve the unity of our denomination, anything to keep the church from splitting. Let's try this way, that way, a third way. There must be some way we can find! But maybe what we need is to give up our ways and concentrate on what God in Christ has done.

‘Maranatha’

If the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is at a crossroads in its life -- a time when many aspects of our life together need to be subjected to careful scrutiny to determine their usefulness to the church -- then certainly a re-examination of the meeting of the General Assembly itself is in order.

Questions and Answers about Amendment Q

As presbyteries consider Amendment Q, some important questions are being raised. As co-authors of the original overture from Genesee Valley Presbytery, we offer the benefit of our thoughts.

1. It sounds like this amendment is just trying to punish the offender.

A Merciful Dissonance

The Guest Viewpoint by Jerry Andrews and reply by Robert Bullock and me offers a poignant example of Christian friends engaging each other -- reluctantly -- in disagreement. What are we to make theologically of this fact: that disagreement seems to be a permanent mode of the church's existence?

Connecting Faith and Practice, Correcting Misunderstanding

The theology, constitution and policy of our church, in concert with the church universal and ecumenical, teaches that sexual expression belongs only within the covenant of marriage. The polity of the church is to conform to the profession of the church, as our Preliminary Principles say: "We are persuaded that there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty."

‘The End of the Church’ – How it applies to the PC(USA)

Ephraim Radner has written an interesting book. An Episcopalian priest, Radner argues that the present divisions within the church are themselves a sign of "pneumatic deprivation," that is, the abandonment of the church by the Holy Spirit. That is the message that the title of his book is meant to convey: The End of the Church: A Pneumatology of Christian Division in the West (Eerdmans, 1998).

Hope and God’s Faithfulness

I have experienced an epiphany, or at least a reawakening of personal hope for our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In a day when it seems that our beloved church is being torn asunder by irreconcilable issues, such as the Amendment O debate, little did I realize that a request from my session would lead me to a rediscovery of hope for the church.

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